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In my opinion, books are one of the easiest ways to target a variety of speech and language skills with mixed groups.  I also feel that it is one of the best ways to encourage and facilitate a love for literature with kids.  Here are a few of my favorite Autumn books and a short-list of targeted goals that you can cover with them.

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves
 by Lucille Colandro
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters easily with this repetitive story!  Students can even practice carryover of their sounds (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) while targeting language concepts too.

LANGUAGE: Target identification and labeling of basic vocabulary found in the print and in the pictures, work on wh-questions and yes/no questions, phonological awareness (rhyming), description of items, semantic features (location, function, part-whole), and practice sequencing and story retell!

The Biggest Apple Ever 
by Steven Kroll

SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with this cute story about cooperation!

LANGUAGE: Target prepositions, pronouns, irregular verbs, functions for common items, answering wh-questions, and story retell!

Sophie's Squash
by Pat Zietlow Miller and Anne Wilsdorf

SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) in this

LANGUAGE:  Target vocabulary building for adjectives, using context clues to build vocabulary for Tier II verbs, cause-effect relationships, and answering wh-questions!


If you do not want to have go through the books and make your own lists, I have created an easy cheat sheet for articulation words, language concepts to target, and some basic wh-questions you can ask for each book!  You can grab your free cheat sheet below.



    What are some of your favorite Autumn books to incorporate into your speech therapy lessons?  Do you know of some great books with Diversity and an Autumn theme? Please share with us below in the comments!  I would love to expand my Autumn-themed book list. Thanks!


    There are so many fun activities that families can engage in that can build speech and language skills! The Autumn season provides many inexpensive and fun family opportunities to help children build and generalize their speech and language skills. 


    GO FOR A HIKE IN NATURE- Many towns and cities have areas with hiking trails. Going on a hike as a family, can provide inexpensive fun and a wonderful way to engage kids in communication. Bring this FREE Scavenger List. 

    • receptive identification
    • expressive labeling
    • discuss weather and clothing options, cloud formations
    • adjectives to describe items found/seen during the hike
    • target prepositions with where the child found the item 
    • compare/contrast items
    • give instructions on how to return to starting point 
    • sequence the order for what they checked off of their scavenger list

     

    NATURE ART- Hikes in nature can provide some FREE art supplies.  Students can gather rocks, acorns, twigs, leaves in various colors, and fall berries while on a hike to use in art.  Families can also create apple stamps by cutting an apple in half and dipping it in stamp ink or paint.  Fingerprints in an ink pad can be included in the child's art project.

    • Make requests for supplies ("Please hand me the glue" or "I would like a yellow leaf")
    • Sequence steps taken to create their masterpiece
    • Describe their art project
    • Tell a story about their art project

     

    NATURAL BIRD FEEDER- This is an easy craft that families can make and that does not cost a lot. The only materials needed is a pine cone, sting, peanut butter, and bird seed.  Here is a link to a video demonstrating how to make this natural bird feeder. 

    • semantic features to needed materials
    • sequencing steps needed to create natural bird feeder

     

    MAKE FALL SCENTED PLAYDOUGH- Many kids LOVE playing with playdough. You can find 10 reasons why we should encourage students using playdough here. Parents can find a lot of wonderful no cook playdough recipes online.  Check out this video on how to make No Cook Playdough.  Here are two Autumn themed recipes: APPLE CINNAMON PLAYDOUGH (just add red, green, or yellow food coloring) and PUMPKIN PIE PLAYDOUGH.

    • describing materials using senses
    • sequencing steps and recall
    • use the playdough to create items to describe or as visuals when telling a story 

     

     GO TO AN APPLE ORCHARD or A PUMPKIN PATCH- During Autumn, my family always goes out to an apple orchard to pick our own apples and later to a pumpkin patch to choose our pumpkin before Halloween. You would be shocked to find that there are apple orchards and/or pumpkin patches near cities and towns that you would not have thought would have one near it.  For example, when we lived in Las Vegas, we found both! 

    We have been fortunate enough to find that at the different apple orchards and pumpkin patches that we have been to there are always additional activities to engage in also.  For example, at the pumpkin patch we always went to had huge haystacks for kids to climb, farm animals to feed, pony and horse rides, and a small playground.  The apple orchards we have been to has a variety of sweet treats to try such as apple cider slushies, caramel apples, apple donuts, etc.. They have also had small playgrounds, corn mazes, apple cannons and apple tasting for a variety of apples. 

    • comparing/contrasting two different pumpkins or apples
    • using language to order their own treats
    • explain why they chose one type of apple or a specific pumpkin
    • using adjectives to describe the different types of apples during an apple tasting

     

    Families can also work on using carryover of speech sound system skills (articulation and phonology) and using fluency techniques while engaging in these fun activities. 

     

    I hope you share these ideas with your families looking for opportunities to help their child build speech and language skills. Do  you have additional ideas to share?  If so, please share them in the comments below.  Thanks! 

     

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.



     



    Halloween is seriously my favorite holiday!  I am not huge on dressing up now.  However, I love to see the kids dress up and I enjoy the magic of imagination! Check out ten MORE Halloween freebies that I found. You can find the original 10 freebies (and links to other Halloween Round-ups HERE.

    1. 5 Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate by My Teletherapy Room - This cute boom card set is perfect for Halloween with your Pre-K and early special education classrooms!
    2. Halloween Costumes with Negation by Very Visual SLPs - This boom card set is great for students working on who questions and negation.
    3. Which Letters Articulation Boom Cards by Thumb Bunny Speech- This is an amazing Articulation FREEBIE! It targets /k, g, f, v, j, l, s, r, ch, sh, th/ in intial, medial, and final word positions all with a Halloween theme!
    4. Spooky Speech Word Lists and Activities by Sublime Speech - This packet targets multiple meaning words, antonyms, synonyms, and following directions all with an Autumn theme!
    5. Halloween Main Idea and Details by Just Speechie SLP- Contains 12 Halloween Stories, a main ideas template and a double-wide game board. 
    6. Halloween Idiom Monster Match by SLP Madness - Super cute game matching the Halloween themed idiom with its meaning!
    7. What are they thinking: Social Skills Activity for Halloween by Speech Paths- Great for talking about facial expressions and emotions, perspective taking, and respecting others!
    8. Halloween Roll and Race by Peachie Speechie - Easy to use and keep students engaged with this open-ended worksheet.
    9. Halloween Articulation Word Search by Communication Window - Word searches for /r/ and /s/ with a Halloween vocabulary.
    10. Halloween No Print Interactive Open-Ended Game by Tech n' Talk SLPs - This fun little interactive no print is perfect for mixed groups or as a reinforcement game.

    Looking for more ideas?  Check out these blog posts!
    10 Halloween Freebies for Speech and Language - Lots of great goodies here!
    Halloween Books for Literacy-Based Speech Therapy - Woohoo! Free Literacy-based cheat sheet for three common Halloween books!
    Halloween Books for Speech Therapy- Ideas you can target different goals with these books!

    Do you know of any other great Halloween freebies?  If so, please share in the comments below!

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.
    Are you always looking for something new to use with your students? I personally love using resources related to seasons, holidays, and themes. I want to help you be prepared whether you are on-site or providing services via teletherapy.  Check out these ten Autumn freebies that I found.
    1. Build a Virtual Scarecrow - Reinforcement Fun by Tech 'n Talk SLPs - This is a great little no print reinforcer for groups or individuals!
    2. Building Fall Sentences by Angie S - Perfect for our students working on basic sentence formulation and increasing MLU.
    3. Fall Word Searches for Articulation by Speech Therapy with Courtney Gragg- If you have students working on /r/ or /l/ or basic Autumn vocabulary, make sure you grab this!
    4. Fall Fun by Mrs. H's Speech Therapy Room- This packet targets multiple meaning words, antonyms, synonyms, and following directions all with an Autumn theme!
    5. Making a Pumpkin Pie Non-Fiction Short Story and Language Activities by Kayla SLP- If your student is working on sequencing, story retell, wh-questions, and vocabulary building, you will not want to miss this freebie!
    6. How many can you name- conversation and oral expression cards by Speech Rocks - This free packet contains 30 different category cards with an Autumn theme. Great way to target carryover articulation, expressive language, pragmatic language, and fluency!
    7. Find it Fast Fall by Speech and Language at Home - What a fun way to target a variety of speech and language goals with this game!  Perfect for mixed groups.
    8. Open-Ended Autumn Articulation Pages by Carien B SLT - This Autumn themed open-ended packet can be used to track articulation, language, and fluency (bumpy vs. smooth).
    9. Fall Festive Adjectives by Lindsey Karol - This is another great freebie that can be used to work on generalization of articulation, use of fluency techniques, and language skills.
    10. Fall Scavenger Hunt Boom Cards by Itty Bitty Speech - This free boom card set helps kids build basic sentences. 
    Looking for more ideas?  Check out these blog posts!
    Do you know of any other amazing Autumn freebies?  If so, please share in the comments below!

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.
    I have always enjoyed 'Talk like a Pirate Day' in speech therapy!  I think I have as much fun as the kids do by pulling out my pirate patch and hook and spending the day pretending I am on a search for treasure!  Check out these ten Pirate freebies that I found.

    1. WH Pirate Questions by Speech Therapy with Courtney Gragg- This packet includes who, what, where, when, why, and how questions all with a pirate theme! I'm excited to use this!
    2. Fun for a Pirate by Activity Tailor- These open ended drill pages are engaging.  You can easily use dice with these pages or a spinner.
    3. Pirate Talk by Nicole Brezel- This free packet includes conversation starters using open-ended questions.  Great for expanding conversation and working on reasoning too!
    4. Pirate Clues Early Inferencing by Peachie Speechie - Provide students a copy of the visual clues page and see if they can determine which pirate themed item is being described.  Great for working on descriptions too.
    5. Talk like a Pirate Speech and Language Activities by Tech N' Talk SLPs- This packet has fun ideas for articulation, language, and fluency.  It also includes a game board!
    6. Articulation Gameboards by Renee Brown SLP- This packet contains articulation game boards for /k/ and /g/ with an electronic spinner.
    7. Pirate Prepositions by The Busy Bee SLP- You will find 16 preposition picture cards with a pirate theme.
    8. Synonym Boom Cards by GoldieTalks Speech- This interactive boom card freebie has an animal pirate theme and provides the main word and a field of three options to find the synonym
    9. Argh! Where's my Treasure Articulation Activitiy by Mrs. Paulk's Products - This freebie provides multiple descriptions for students to figure out what /r/ word is being described.  Students then move across a game board.
    10. Penny's Treasure Hunt Digital Game for /v/ by The Cincy Speechie- This cute treasure hunt digital game features initial /v/.  

    Looking for more FREE ideas?  Check out these blog posts!
    Five Freebies: Talk Like A Pirate Day -Who doesn't love free?!
    Talk like a Pirate Day in Speech by Speech Therapy Plans- Check out these cute ideas to incorporate into speech!

    What resources or activities will you be engaging in for Talk like a Pirate Day?  I would love for you to share ideas in the comments below.

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.

    I am currently going on my fourth year as a Speech-Language Pathologist providing services via teletherapy. In all that time, I have played around a little with changing my background scene using the Zoom platform.  I didn't attempt my hand at using the Green Screen features on Zoom until the Covid-19 pandemic hit. To say that I was a Green Screen Hot Mess is being very generous to myself.

    There are some of us out there that are amazing and creative in making the green screen work for them.  If you are one of them, I salute you! I, too, wanted to join the green screen SLP community and have an additional tool in my SLP toolkit to help my students succeed. Serena and Kylie from PlaySpark Toys helped me. They provided me with their introductory kit and some of their extra felt piece sets to review; however, the opinions in this post are all mine.

    PlaySpark Toys is a small business developed by a Speech-Language Pathologist, Serena, and an Occupational Therapist, Kylie, who were both seeing great success with their clients using green screen technology when the pandemic hit and services changed into using a distance learning model.  They started sharing tips and lesson plan ideas on Facebook and saw a need from colleagues that were struggling to get their green screen technology to work and look so seamless.

    WHAT DOES PLAYSPARK TOYS CURRENTLY OFFER?
    • Green Screen Distance Learning Kit - This introductory kit includes a 6 x 6 ft Felt Green Screen, easy to use hardware hit to get your screen up, two green sticks (to incorporate floating images), adhesive green felt pocket ( it becomes invisible), magnifying glass, six large felt food items, and a tote bag (for easy storage). 
    •  Additional Felt Pockets
    •  Additional Felt Foods
    •  Farm Animal Felt Set
    •  Clothing Felt Set
    •  Ice Cream Felt Set
    •  Build a Face Felt Set
    •  Vehicles Felt Set
    PlaySpark also includes background scenes to use with these felt sets for free on their website and in their Teachers Pay Teachers store.  If you do not want to buy the already created felt set but would prefer to print out and create your own, you can also purchase the visuals to do so on their website.  The heading says "currently" because I have a feeling that these creative ladies will continue to expand their felt sets to save the rest of us time as they share additional ideas for lessons to make green screen magic! I look forward to seeing what else they create.

    Feed the Cat- NOT a Fruit Negation Activity with Food Set
    WHAT SPEECH-LANGUAGE GOALS CAN BE TARGETED USING A GREEN SCREEN?
    • Matching
    • Receptive Identification by name and/or Semantic Features
    • Vocal Play (Farm animal sounds)
    • Expressive Vocabulary Building and Labeling
    • Expressive Description Building Skills
    • Verbs, Pronouns, Prepositional phrases
    • Sentence Expansion
    • Asking and Answering Wh-Questions
    • Reduction in Phonological Processing Errors (target velars, final consonant deletion, stops, consonant clusters, etc..)
    • Build Social Skills (requesting, feelings/emotions, understanding facial expressions)
    • Sequencing Skills
    • Narrative Building Skills 
    • Using Fluency Shaping and Stuttering Modification Techniques
    The only thing that limits the use of a green screen is your own creativity and imagination. So the sky is the limit!

    WHY DO I LOVE THESE PRODUCTS?
    When the green screen craze started, I ran off to the Dollar Store, Walmart, and Target in search of green screen compatible resources to create a green screen and all of the green screen magic. My greens did not match and I did some damage to my walls (too many holes and paint peeling, shhh... don't tell the Hub). To sum it up, I failed miserably and spent more than I care to admit.

    Their Green Screen Distance Learning Kit saved me!  It is so easy to put up and since it is all felt, I did not need to put additional holes in my wall! In fact, the green screen now "hides" the damage that I inflicted.  I also appreciate that everything is already prepped and ready for me to go!  I do not have to create my own felt pockets to create the illusion that items disappear and reappear.  I do not have to purchase a magnifying glass and then spend that time cutting to cover it nor do I need to paint sticks to have items float.  They already did that for me!  Their felt sets also save me time since they have a variety of kits that are commonly used for early vocabularies such as facial features (body parts), foods, farm animals, and vehicles.

    Mrs. Potato - Body Parts/Facial Expressions Felt Set Activity
    As a Speech-Language Pathologist that has been in the field for a while, I appreciate that it was so easy to set it up and start right away targeting such a wide variety of goals! I also appreciate that the creators behind PlaySpark Toys are both in allied health fields and understand our students' needs since they are also working with students.

    Customer service is another reason why I love this new company and the resources that they create!  They are extremely helpful and willing to help with trouble-shooting and share tips and lesson ideas in their various social networking platforms. I think that extra effort to help everyone become a Green Screen Queen is tremendously helpful for both new Speech-Language Pathologists and those of us who have been in the field for some time and may not be as technology savvy.

    WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO I HAVE FOR IMPROVEMENT?
    The one thing I noticed is that on some of the felt sets, they did not remain up on my felt screen for a long time.  This was a quick and easy fix by adding a small Velcro circle to those pieces that did not want to remain on the screen. It would be helpful if a few little Velcro pieces could be added to the kits for those few felt pieces that want to be difficult.

    To be honest, that was the only helpful suggestion that I could think of for improvement.  This is a young company (only a few months old); however, they are sharing their knowledge via social media platforms, make time to answer questions and help troubleshoot, provide free backgrounds and ideas, offer pre-made felt sets and/or visuals that you can purchase separately to create your own props, and they save the rest of us so much time for a fraction of what we might be paying trying to recreate it on our own.

    My only other feedback here is to keep it up, ladies!  The work you are doing to help the rest of us that are Green Screen Hot Messes to become Full Fledged Green Screen Queens is greatly appreciated! I look forward to seeing what future sets you may create and therapy ideas you share.

    OVERALL IMPRESSION:
    I really appreciate the resources and support provided by PlaySpark Toys.  With just a few hooks, I can easily put up and take down my green screen with ease and do not have to worry about making additional holes in my wall.  I am pretty sure my Hub appreciates this too since I do not need to borrow his height to set up my green screen or take it down over and over (ie. "Please, can you hold this side up so that I can put the pushpin in again. Oh, wait!  No, it is not over far enough. Got it!  Wait.. that side is far too low and does not cover part of the wall that I need to be covered").  My 10-year-old daughter has also enjoyed playing with the green screen and her imagination has sparked mine too and has led to additional smiles and giggles between us as we played.

    The Green Screen Distance Learning Kit retails for $45.00 at PlaySpark Toys.  They also offer additional accessories and felt sets at a retail range of $5.00-$20.00. I will definitely be looking into the additional felt sets as they continue to grow!

    LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION AND ADDITIONAL TIPS TO BE A GREEN SCREEN QUEEN?
    You can get additional ideas on ways to use their resources and expand your own imagination in the Green Screen Speech Therapy Facebook Group and on their PlaySpark Toys Youtube Channel.

    How do you think you would use this product?  Tell me in the comments below if you have PlaySpark Toy's Green Screen Distance Learning Kit or if you have used their tips to successfully create your own. How are you using a green screen for speech therapy?  Do you have any favorite therapy ideas?

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.


    We are about to start a new school year and so much is still unknown for so many of us. I want to help you be prepared whether you are on-site or providing services via teletherapy.  Check out these ten Back to School freebies that I found.

    1. Back to School Ice Breakers and Activities by Speech Me Maybe- This great freebie includes ice breakers, session reminders, and goal setting pages.
    2. Getting to Know You Worksheets by Fun in Speech- Check out these free All About Me worksheets and ice breakers! 
    3. Back to School Editable Letter to Parents by Stacy Crouse- Free editable No Print and black and white letter to send home.
    4. Back to School Jokes by Sparklle SLP - This packet contains 39 different back to school jokes!  Perfect for practicing fluency techniques, articulation carryover, and building vocabulary.
    5. Back to School Irregular and Regular Verbs by Speech2U- This packet has wonderful suggestions on different ways to teach the skill and to help students generalize with real-life experiences.
    6. Back to School Inferencing by The Speech Owl- This free packet contains 16 different descriptions for items and locations found in a school.
    7. WH-Questions Back to School by Lindsey Karol- Check out this packet focusing on who, what, and where all related to a school theme.
    8. No Print Prepositions Back to School by Speech Serenade- This interactive no print freebie includes a field of three choices to complete a sentence using the appropriate preposition related to a provided picture.
    9. Covid-19 Social Narrative by Autism Little Learnings - This freebie was created during last school year.  However, it still covers so much great information to help our kids understand what Covid-19 is and how they can help keep themselves and others safe.
    10. Hand Washing Skills Boom Cards by PlayLearnTalk- This free boom card set helps kids sequence the steps required for washing hands thoroughly.
    Looking for more ideas?  Check out these blog posts!
    Do you know of any other amazing Back to School freebies?  If so, please share in the comments below!

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.

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